Bible Ballistics: BBs #276 Your Cross Or HIS???
We talked Sunday about the cross and the sufficiency of the “substitutionary, unique, biblically specific, and perfect” sacrifice for sin that Jesus supplied at Calvary, for all who will trust Him! I’d like to continue in that vein of thought this morning, and talk about what “cross” you and I are depending on to deliver us from the penalty of sin, which is death and hell.
Cross, is partially defined in the dictionary as (It can also be used as other parts of speech which aren’t our focus today):
1a : a structure consisting of an upright with a transverse beam used especially by the ancient Romans for execution b often capitalized : the cross on which Jesus was crucified
2 a : crucifixion b : an affliction that tries one’s virtue, steadfastness, or patience
3 a : a device composed of an upright bar traversed by a horizontal one; specifically : one used as a Christian symbol b capitalized : the Christian religion
4 a : a structure (as a monument) shaped like or surmounted by a cross
The cross can refer to the object or device of wood apart from Jesus, the “Cross” on which Jesus died, a monument in the shape of a ‘cross’, or the one I’d like to focus on today, “2 b” “an affliction that tries one’s virtue, steadfastness, or patience”! Many people have a cross of their own invention-not the only sufficient, atoning sacrificial death of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary.
“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14
Wow! Does Paul really mean “by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”? I believe that it is the truth—Christ died for us that we might live to HIM by HIS power NOT our own.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Galatians 2:20-21
To know Jesus Christ is to be crucified with HIM! The “cross” isn’t a pretty little ornament that people wear as jewelry (though they do), nor is it an emblem that is found on graves and gravestones (though it is used that way also), and it isn’t the good works that we may try to do, nor our sufferings in this life! The “cross” we’re talking about, represents the ONLY payment for the sins of the world. Jesus came to give HIS life for that payment—His sinless, perfect life was offered willingly to pay the debt that none could pay on their own.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
Jesus shed His blood for sinners like you and me, so we wouldn’t have to face hell for our own sin. We were enemies of God because of our sin, yet God had a plan for our deliverance—JESUS! The Savior of the world, who loves us and bought our salvation with His own blood, will give us life for death if we but come to Him in repentance and faith.
“For when we were yet without strength,
in due time
Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man
will one die:
yet peradventure for a good man
some would even dare to die.
8 But God
commendeth his love toward us,
while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us.
9 Much more then,
being now justified
by his blood,
we shall be saved
from wrath through him.
10 For if,
when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God
by the death of his Son,
we shall be saved
by his life.” Romans 5:6-10
Jesus came to deliver sinners, and we (who are all sinners) can be delivered from the penalty of sin (which is eternal death and hell) if we will but trust HIM and take up HIS cross by faith and walk by His Spirit in grace and truth. Your own “good” works will never save you! Nor your perceived or real physical or mental suffering in this life! Your family isn’t your cross! Your ailments aren’t your cross! Your difficulties or limitations aren’t your cross! Your cross is “death” to self, and “life” from and for Jesus.
know ye not
that your body
is the temple of the Holy Ghost
which is in you,
which ye have of God,
and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God
in your body,
and in your spirit,
which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
So, whose “Cross” are you counting on? The cross of Jesus who saves from sin, and gives eternal “life”; or are you depending on your own works, goodness, suffering, money, family ties, influence, or position to deliver your soul from sin and hell? Only Jesus and His cross can get you across the chasm of sin and hell to heaven!
The choice is yours, but choose wisely. There is a test at the end!
“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26
What are you counting on? Yourself or Jesus? It does matter! “..no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6b
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” Romans 14:12